Core 400 History, Bible, Language Arts, Literature

American Government and Economics (Core 400)
Retail: $867.37
Package Options
Core 400 options:More info Required Resources (+$18.89): More Info
Good for
Ages 16-18
This package qualifies for Time Payments.
Ships for FREE with fast FedEx shipping (to the lower 48 states). Details.

We have sold out of the printed History 420 Parent guides. Since your quality photocopy will not perfectly match our standard, your guide has been discounted 12%.

Unearth the heritage and history of the U.S. government

  • Take a tour of American government, with an up-close look at the three branches.
  • Consider modern-day economic theories and values in light of God's perspective on possessions.
  • Encounter the "great American novel," along with noteworthy short stories, plays, poems, biographies and more.
  • Discover practical ways to live out a faith that is relevant to and integrates with our government, culture and the world.
  • Purchase this package and you'll get free shipping (lower 48), Forum access, a one-year guarantee and other Club benefits.

The how and why of our government and economy, plus a grand literary adventure

Core 400 teams two 18-week courses, American Government and Economics, with a 36-week American Literature course. The first offers a view of not only how our government works, but also why it works as it does. The second demystifies one of the least understood disciplines in all of academics. The third offers a delightful encounter with a catalog of literary classics.

Designed for independent study, Core 400 is suited for 17- and 18-year-old students and advanced 16-year-olds. My daughter, Amy Lykosh, has helped create a robust Core that will challenge and intrigue your high schoolers. Students who have used other upper-level Cores will be best equipped for the rigors of Core 400.

What you'll study

Most Americans think our government is pretty complicated. Interestingly enough, the Founding Fathers designed it that way! Core 400 unravels their reasoning and walks you through the complexity as it has played out throughout our history up to the current political scene. Lessons cover the time of Colonial government before the American Revolution to current practices on the Beltway: a whirlwind tour, but an intensely rewarding one.

After an overview of government types, we begin with the Constitution. Students discover how two centuries of social currents and historical events have altered Americans' understanding of this document: Jeffersonian Democracy, Lincoln's presidency, the incredible increase in the federal government during the 20th century and more.

Upon completing Core 400, your students will know about the House Ways and Means committee, the reason most controversial Supreme Court rulings come in June, and the difference between caucuses and primaries — these and other terms that are common in the everyday news we hear.

As students mature and prepare to contribute to our world, we also want to equip them with a practical understanding of how an economy functions and the part they play. Thinkwell's acclaimed online program, along with the Biblically based text, Money, Possessions and Eternity, and the delightful "economic romance," The Invisible Heart, combine to offer a balanced view of topics from basic economic theory to trade practices and more.

Goals for Core 400

We created Core 400 to help your students have a working knowledge of the United States government, a Constitutional Federated Republic (not a democracy). We want them to better understand their country and its history, to know their rights and duties as citizens and to comprehend that economics is about more than money.

Core 400 teaches students to step back and ask questions behind the issues. If we lived in the days of the Boston Tea Party, we would not only ask the question everyone else was asking (Which side are you on?), but also the ethical question: Is destruction of property wise, necessary and appropriate? As we consider current unemployment and outsourcing of jobs, we might ask the obvious "why?"

As they encounter a broad picture of American politics and economic practices, students will learn some uncomfortable truths. We look at the history of what our government has done, both good and bad. As students ponder foundational issues, we present different sides, enabling them to see beyond surface rhetoric and think for themselves.

In the end, we desire to equip individuals to employ Scriptural values and make informed assessments as they evaluate governmental policies and actions and prepare for a lifetime of citizenship.

Core 400 provides options

A Sonlight high school Core typically combines two 36-week courses: History and Literature. Our recommended Cores work well for most families. You may use the complete Core 400 or customize your Core experience.

To customize, select any History/Bible 100-300 course (or, Government 400 AND Economics). Combine with any Literature/Language Arts 100-400 course to build the Core that meets your student's interests and academic goals.

All Core benefits apply to the Core that you create.

With History 400, you receive:

Instructor's Guide

Government 400 is designed for your student's independent study. The Government and Bible Student Guide provides daily reading assignments, along with additional notes and questions to reinforce reading and aid understanding. Use your accompanying Parent Guide to follow along, monitor learning and discuss, as desired.

Click here to request the first three weeks of these guides for free.

Government / Civics

Your primary text, Basic American Government, provides an excellent overview of the background to the Constitution, the Constitution itself and what has happened historically to bring its interpretation to its current state. For balance, we include the popular and highly palatable Complete Idiot's Guide to U.S. Government and Politics.

Other books in your Government 400 course unearth fascinating details and survey the subject broad and deep. A few highlights:

  • Our three-branch government explained: Get inside the presidential election process, a summary of the Supreme Court and a complete behind-the-scenes explanation of Congress.
  • Encounter a powerful story about the need for the Civil Rights movement.
  • Liberal? Conservative? Erase any confusion, as differences in today's parties are clarified.

Civil Law of the Bible

Should religious truth influence civil government? The politically correct answer is no. The Core 400 Bible and Theology program challenges that answer.

You and your students will interact with Scripture in an ambitious new way. Two thought-provoking books, God and Politics and Truth and Transformation, ask you to question assumptions and serve as your guide to examine civil government through a Biblical lens.

With Economics, You Receive:

Instructor's Guide

As with its upper-level counterparts, students can readily and successfully study Economics on their own. Your Instructor's Guide (with two lesson plan options, general and AP* prep) provides daily assignments, helpful notes, thought-provoking questions and answers, too — all of which reinforce your student's reading and understanding.

Find out more about the course here.


Students will encounter the 18-week Economics course in an inviting way. From Bible-focused journal questions that offer insight into God's perspective on money and other earthly treasures, to challenging computer-graded exercises, this course readies your children for college and life. Students will find a solid foundation that helps develop good stewardship values to guide them over time.

With Literature 400, you receive:

Instructor's Guide

Literature 400 takes learners on a yearlong adventure of independent study. The Literature and Language Arts Student Guide provides daily reading and writing assignments, along with additional notes and questions that reinforce and challenge your student. The accompanying Parent Guide keeps you in touch and on track, so you can come alongside at any point in your student's learning.

Curious how it works? Get a free IG sample here.

American Literature

Literature 400 is a 36-week opportunity for upper-level students to immerse themselves in the best of the best — highlights and hallmarks of great American literature. Students will read the well-known authors and works they should be familiar with prior to leaving high school. These include classics from literary legends such as John Steinbeck, Willa Cather, O. Henry, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain and more. We've also included more contemporary works I believe you'll enjoy, like bestselling author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard's Teaching a Stone to Talk.

Language Arts

This complete language arts program is fully integrated with your Core 400 literature and history studies. Continue developing key skills like literary analysis, creative writing, and academic research.

Prepare for a lifetime of citizenship

Help your students live as engaged, upright citizens with this well-rounded Core. Enjoy the lively conversations and fascinating discoveries sure to come your way.

Highlight Previously Purchased Items Print Booklist

Instructor's Guides

History 420 Parent Guide (420-PG)

Get all the lesson plans and teaching helps you need to effectively teach History, Geography and Bible for the entire year.

History 420 Student Guide (420-SG)

Get the daily schedule and tools your student needs for History, Geography, and Bible for the entire year.

Literature 430 Parent Guide (430-PG)

Get all the lesson plans and teaching helps you need to effectively teach Literature and Language Arts for the entire year.

Literature 430 Student Guide (430-SG)

Get the daily schedule and tools your student needs for Literature and Language Arts for the entire year.


Eternity in Their Hearts (420-30)

The year is 1795, and deep in the jungles of Burma hundreds of tribesmen rush out to a clearing to greet a white-skinned stranger. Could he be the one to bring the book their forefathers lost so many centuries ago-the book that tells the secrets of Y'Wa, the Supreme God? Astonishingly, Yes!

Civil Law

New! God and Politics (410-01)

Was America ever a Christian nation, and should it be one? Which Old Testament laws apply to civil life today? To what extent should the state tolerate non-Christian views and practices in the name of pluralism? More than a dozen contributors representing four positions on the biblical role of civil government ask and address these and other pertinent questions.

New! Truth and Transformation (410-02)

Truth and Transformation holds out help, hope and healing ? through the Gospel's foundational truths ? for the woes of present-day Western society. An international scholar and visionary, the author unveils the transformative power of Jesus-centered thinking for every area of life, from morality to the economy to education and more.


Sonlight's Economics Program Instructor's Guide (570-01)

Demystify the world of Economics (macro and micro) far beyond any textbook.

The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance (570-10)

Can Modern Economics be practical... even emotional? Yes!

Sonlight Personal Journal (570-40)

Tell your own story in this Personal Journal...

Thinkwell Economics Internet Course (570-50)

An incredible Internet-based resource for teaching your high schoolers about Modern Economics—both macro and micro.

Money, Possessions and Eternity (RR110)

A thorough study on what the Bible says about money

History & Geography

New! The U.S. Supreme Court (420-01)

How do cases make their way to the Supreme Court? How do the justices come to their final decision? In this brief introductory text, a Pulitzer Prize?winning journalist explains how the Supreme Court really works.

New! Are You Liberal? Conservative? or Confused? (420-02)

Are You a Liberal? Conservative? or Confused? is part of the "Uncle Eric" series, where the author takes on the role of an economist writing a series of letters to his niece or nephew. Presented from the viewpoint of America's Founders, this book gives a clear, interesting explanation of political labels — what they mean, associated economic policies, the plans promoters have for your money and more.

New! Selecting a President (420-03)

Selecting a President is a nuts-and-bolts look at the presidential electoral system. From the primaries to conventions to the election and Inauguaration Day, come along on the fascinating journey that begins in Iowa and New Hampshire and ends at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

New! The Complete Idiot's Guide to U.S. Government & Politics (420-04)

Our government works. This books tells you how. Step behind the curtain of bureaucracy and gain a true understanding of how the complex system functions. Learn more about the three branches of U.S. government, the role political parties play in democracy, the various roles of the president and more.

New! Congress for Dummies (420-06)

If you've ever wondered how (and why) they do what they do in Congress, this fun, friendly guide will shed some light. You'll learn who the players are and get an insider's view on the processes, too ? from legislation to lobbying, caucuses to coalitions and so much more.

Basic American Government (420-10)

We looked at dozens of texts before settling with delight on this volume. It provides exactly the kind of basic outline we need for a high school civics class.


Black Like Me (420-15)

A white man darkens his skin to experience the black man's world in 1959.

Up From Slavery (420-60)

Booker T. Washington was a devoutly Christian man who, as a former slave, treaded a dangerous middle ground in a time of racial backlash and disfranchisement.

New! A Separate Peace (430-01)

During World War II, two students at a New England boarding school experience the dark, tragic side of adolescence. Intense, mesmerizing, and compelling coming-of-age tale. Powerful.

New! Their Eyes Were Watching God (430-02)

A powerful tale of one woman's life. Set in black communities in the Deep South in the early 1900s, and told with a stunning, deeply moving, almost poetic prose. Hurston breathes life into her characters and lets them speak for themselves. A true literary classic.

New! Ender's Game (430-03)

The thrilling tale of Ender, a child genius in training to become Earth's top military commander. Aliens have already attacked twice. Now, Ender must complete his training and be ready to command against the final invasion. The tender-hearted child brilliantly maneuvers through training school and leads his young teammates through increasingly-complex war games. But one question looms in everyone's mind: Is Ender Wiggin smart enough to save the planet?

An absorbing, accessible and relevant work of Science Fiction.

New! Outliers (430-04)

Continuing a quest to explain us to ourselves, best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell turns his inquiring mind to outliers ? those individuals whose achievements surpass that of the masses. What, if anything, do they have in common? Can certain princles applied allow us to duplicate their success? A fascinating and provocative examination of human potential!

New! Evidence Not Seen (430-05)

The true story of a young American missionary's courage and faith deep in the jungles of New Guinea during World War II, her imprisonment in a Japanese prison camp and miraculous survival.

New! Teaching a Stone to Talk (430-06)

Pulitzer Prize?winning author Annie Dillard explores the natural world and human meaning in this compilation of deceptively simple essays reminiscent of Emily Dickinson and Thoreau.

New! Death of a Salesman (430-07)

First performed onstage in 1949, Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize?winning drama continues to ask its audience some of life's most important questions, not the least of these, what is success? Through Willy Loman, an aging salesman and seeming failure at his vocational endeavors, the author paints the portrait of an American dreamer and tragic hero ... which may ultimately help each of us face our own hopes, dreams and losses.

New! Fidelity (430-08)

Five stories set in the fictional town of Port William, Kentucky, reveal the author's deep love of and concern for nature and the land. Through his writings, we learn about the cyclic rhythms of the agrarian world, and about the interconnectedness of farm families to their past, to one another and to the soil that supports their living.

New! How to Read a Book (430-09)

Originally published in 1940, now completely revised and updated, How to Read a Book is "the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension." Learn how to achieve the various levels of reading — from elementary reading, through systematic skimming and inspectional reading, to speed reading. Discover different techniques for reading practical books, plays, poetry, history, science, mathematics, philosophy and more.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (430-10)

"Notice. Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. -By order of the Author."

New! Brave Companions (430-11)

In this masterful work of narrative history, a Pulitzer Prize?winning author with a gift for storytelling opens a window to the world, past and present, with a series of profiles about exceptional men and women whose lives reveal much that is timeless about the human condition.

New! Elements of Style (430-12)

It's the "little book" that can have a BIG impact on your writing! A classic manual that remains relevant today, it conveys the principles of English style with clear and concise explanations and examples. From elementary rules of usage and composition, to the most commonly misused words and expressions, it's a must-have reference tool for every writer's bookshelf.

Best Short Stories of O. Henry (430-16)

This collection offers for readers' delight the thirty-eight 0. Henry stories honored almost unanimously by anthologists and that represent, in variety and balance, the best work of America's favorite storyteller.

The Chosen (430-22)

In 1940s Brooklyn, an accident throws Reuven Malther and Danny Saunders together. Despite their differences (Reuven is a secular Jew with an intellectual, Zionist father; Danny is the brilliant son and rightful heir to a Hasidic rebbe), the young men form a deep friendship.

The Grapes of Wrath (430-37)

Nobel Prize. "One of the greatest and most socially significant novels of the twentieth century."

Jacob Have I Loved (430-40)

Louise knows that she should be proud of her beautiful twin Caroline. But she is convinced that, ever since they were born, Caroline has done nothing but take from her: their parents' love, Louise's hopes for an education, even her best and only friend.

My Antonia (430-49)

H.L. Mencken once wrote, "No romantic novel ever written in America, by man or woman, is one half so beautiful as My Antonia."

100 Best-Loved Poems (430-52)

Includes some of the best-loved English and American verse of all time -- Rudyard Kipling's "If," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "The Village Blacksmith," John Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn," and many other classics that ensure hours of enjoyment whether read to oneself or shared aloud with one's family. Includes authors' pictures.

Our Town (430-55)

Pulitzer Prize. One of the most popular American dramas of all time, Our Town recalls three time periods in the life of residents of a small Connecticut town. It calls us to focus on the "little things" of life.

The Portable Poe (430-61)

Poe was perhaps the most melancholy and deeply brooding author in American history.

The Scarlet Letter (430-64)

A study of the tension between public and private morality, The Scarlet Letter carved new paths in American literary technique and substance.

New! On Writing Well (440-02)

This is the bible for anyone who wants to learn how to write and write well. Before you put pen to paper, pick up the classic guide to nonfiction writing. Learn the fundamental principles and gain insights from a distinguished writer, editor and teacher.

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Required | Recommended | Consumable | Optional Language Arts

Required Items


3" Binder with Tabs (B050)

Organize all your homeschool papers in one sturdy and convenient binder. With tabs that match your Sonlight® Core Instructor's Guides, you'll always know where to find each week's schedule, notes and study guides.

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Consumable Items

Instructor's Guides

History 420 Student Guide (420-SG)

Get the daily schedule and tools your student needs for History, Geography, and Bible for the entire year.

Retail Price: $22.99 Your Price: $20.69
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Literature 430 Student Guide (430-SG)

Get the daily schedule and tools your student needs for Literature and Language Arts for the entire year.

Retail Price: $11.99 Your Price: $10.79
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Optional Language Arts Items

Language Arts

Wordly Wise 3000 Book 11 & Teacher's Key (440-35)

Exercises ensure students are able to comprehend what they read when they run across the words in context, give students confidence that they can use the words in writing, and teach students the words' various meanings.

Retail Price: $18.90 Your Price: $17.01
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Wordly Wise 3000 Book 12 & Teacher's Key (540-20)

Exercises ensure students are able to comprehend what they read when they run across the words in context, give students confidence that they can use the words in writing, and teach students the words' various meanings.

Retail Price: $18.90 Your Price: $17.01
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Core 400 History, Bible, Language Arts, Literature
American Government and Economics (Core 400)
Retail: $867.37
Package Options
Core 400 options:More info Required Resources (+$18.89): More Info
Good for
Ages 16-18
This package qualifies for Time Payments.
Ships for FREE with fast FedEx shipping (to the lower 48 states). Details.
    Full‑Grade Package Core Package
Instructor's Guide
Language Arts
Handwriting (K-3)
Required Resources
Core Club benefits
12% +
10% +